by Trisha Leigh
I would hope that most people would realize there’s a difference between visiting a resort and actually experiencing a new place or culture.
However, some people just want to talk.
OP is Jamaican and loves visiting there on a regular basis.
My family (23F) is originally from Jamaica, and I’m very proud of where we come from.
My parents emigrated in the 80s, but they made a point of traveling home several times per year and maintaining a Jamaican household to keep my siblings and I connected to our culture.
When a coworker mentioned she had been there, too, OP asked her about it.
I returned from this year’s vacation this past weekend, and I was telling Coworker A about it during our break because they asked what I was eating (a very popular dish there).
Coworker B overheard that I was talking about Jamaica, and started gushing about going there over Christmas and how “immersed” in the culture she felt.
I asked her where she stayed and what she did, and she said that she stayed in a Sandals resort and never really left except when she went to swim with dolphins and sail on a catamaran.
I asked her whether she went to Kingston (where I was) and she said that she didn’t because it was just “too unsafe.”
I then asked her if she enjoyed the food and she said that she didn’t have any of the Jamaican dishes “because she didn’t know what they were.”
It turned out the lady had gone to a resort and hadn’t ventured out.
I didn’t say anything, and just kept a smile plastered on my face, told her that I’m “glad she enjoyed the resort”, and went back to eating my lunch and talking to Coworker A.
OP wasn’t rude, but the woman got angry and accused her of “gatekeeping her culture.”
Coworker B then questioned why I wasn’t engaging with her because “she’s been to the country” and I pointed out that she didn’t interact with locals, eat the food, or leave the Sandals except for tourist experiences so I didn’t feel like we could engage about much.
She then got upset with me and accused me of “gatekeeping” my culture and ruining the memory of her vacation.
I felt bad because Coworker A said that I didn’t have to ask her all those questions, but when I told my mom about it, her and my family were on my side.
She’s now wondering how she should have handled it instead.
The top comment agrees that the coworker was not “immersed” in the culture.
This person agrees that OP didn’t ruin anything.
And this commenter agrees OP’s response was reasonable.
They say there’s nothing wrong with what the coworker did, just with what she said.
This person says the coworker has a lot of nerve.
This one is just funny to me.
I don’t think that other lady understands what she’s saying.
If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.
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Tags: · aita, gatekeeping culture, jamaica, picture, reddit, top, travel, vacation
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by Trisha Leigh